How to combat loneliness this Christmas

Posted about 3 years ago

According to a recent survey by Age UK, nearly 2 million older people are expecting to feel lonely this Christmas.

During winter when the dark nights draw in and the weather gets colder, it can be a difficult time for older people. This year, with the Covid-19 restrictions, it makes it even harder for people to catch up with their neighbours and friends and so people are less likely to see each other.

There are ways to combat loneliness this winter and ensure your loved one is safe and well.

Keep in contact

There are ways to keep in touch, even if you are unable to visit people this winter. Phone your family, friends and neighbours for a chat and ask how they are feeling. For those who have older relatives, make sure you ask them if they have everything they need as they might not want to go out in the cold weather.

Writing letters is also a great way to stay in touch with those who live further away. If you can’t get out of the house to post the letter, ask your neighbour to do this for you.

Get online

It can be hard to stay in touch with older friends and family if they aren’t connected to the internet, so it’s worth having a conversation with them about getting the internet-enabled device.

Some people may be wary about using a device, so try and find a device that is easy to use. Older people may find the text hard to read, so purchasing a device with a larger screen will be beneficial. Some people may also find it hard to use a touchscreen, so have a look for devices with buttons or a keypad.

Communicating via video calls are also a great way to feel closer to your family than a phone call or letter. There are also lots of virtual meetings, such as book clubs and social groups, that are now online which you can join.

Being online is not just good for communication, but there are so many other things you are able to do online from ordering your prescription, shopping, and listening to the radio to name just a few.

Offer to help

If you are able to get out the house, why not offer to run errands for those who aren’t as mobile. Offer to help your neighbours and close friends with their shopping or any jobs they need doing.

If you do someone’s shopping, make sure you drop the shopping bags at their door and then knock before stepping 2 metres away. Make sure your neighbour collects their shopping before leaving.

You should not go into their house to put their shopping away.

Advice and Support

If you are feeling lonely and would like to talk to someone confidently, The Silver Line offers help and support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year: 0800 470 80 90.

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